Danzig Passport used in Kindertransport

Danzig passport 1939

This scarce travel document is currently offered online and is most likely a unique document of its kind. To my knowledge, no similar document exists in any Holocaust-related museum. The price seems high initially, but considering the item’s uniqueness, I would say it’s justified. Danzig Passport Kindertransport

Background

Nine months before the Second World War broke out, a coordinated attempt to evacuate children from areas under Nazi authority was known as the Kindertransport (German for “children’s transport”). Nearly 10,000 predominantly Jewish children from Germany, Austria, Czechoslovakia, Poland, and the Free City of Danzig were adopted by the United Kingdom. The kids were assigned to British farms, orphanages, schools, and hostels. They frequently represented the only survivors from their families during the Holocaust. The British government fostered, promoted, and supported the program. It is significant to note that the British government relaxed the visa immigration restrictions that the British Jewish community could not satisfy. The British government did not impose a cap on the program’s enrollment; instead, it ran until the Second World War broke out, and roughly 10,000 Kindertransport children had been brought to the country. Danzig Passport Kindertransport

The Netherlands, Belgium, France, Sweden, and Switzerland accepted fewer children through the program. The phrase “Kindertransport” is occasionally used to describe the evacuation of mainly Jewish children from Nazi Germany, Austria, and Czechoslovakia to the Netherlands, Belgium, and France without their parents. One instance is the 1,000 children from Chateau de La Hille who visited Belgium. However, the organized program in the U.K. is frequently referred to as the “Kindertransport.”

The Central British Fund for German Jewry (now World Jewish Relief) was founded in 1933 to provide for the needs of Jews in Germany and Austria in every feasible way. The Wagner-Rogers Bill, which sought to boost the immigration quota by bringing 20,000 additional Jewish children to the country, was introduced in Congress but died in committee due to Senator Robert Rice Reynolds’ resistance. Danzig Passport Kindertransport

The Passport Holder

Betty Sass passport photoBETTY SASS (WEILE), accompanying the first Kindertransport out of Danzig, May 5, 1939, to the U.K. via the Netherlands. She was a widow from Zopott, age 39. Betty returned to Danzig after the children reached London, arriving at Harwich. The exit visa from Danzig 1940 has rare revenue stamps; they were used for several weeks only; therefore, they are tough to find. She was on one of these ships: SS Pacific, SS Milos, or S.S. Atlantic. The Hagana sank the first ship in an attempt to have them from being deported. What makes this passport extremely rare and vital are four main points:

  • Danzig passport type
  • Kindertransport-visa for accompanying seventy-five children
  • Internment on the Island of Mauritius
  • A museum piece at its finest

 

Betty was interned on the Island of Mauritius from the end of 1940 to August 1945. After the war, she used the same passport to enter Haifa.

Betty Sass Danzig Mauritius Internment camp

The ships above were purchased by Eichman’s “Jewish man” in Vienna, Berthold Storfer, whose tragic fate was not avoidable at the end when he pleaded with his former boss not to be deported. Storfer helped 2042 Austrian and 7054 German and other Jews, a total of 9096 people, to escape from the so-called “Final Solution.” Later, Bulgarian Jewish activist Dr. Baruch Konfino bought them and saved 2662 Jews while arranging his life-saving missions from Bulgaria.

The Passport

P.S. In 2012, I met William Kaczynski in London; he fleed NS-Germany with his mother and his child passport with a big red J-stamp to the U.K. He was a friend of Sir Nicholas Winton. Hence, I could listen to a first-hand story of “Fleeing from the Fuhrer”. Danzig Passport Kindertransport

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